Natalie grob usually takes her daughter lena to school by car. "I don’t like to send them out alone, especially because of the traffic situation." the family lives directly above their shop, the grob bakery, on kronacher strabe. The B 303, which runs through the city center, is a busy road and quite confusing in this area. In addition, some but by no means all car and truck drivers are paying attention and take their foot off the gas as a precautionary measure.
Mother plays it safe
That’s why nathalie didn’t like the idea of lena crossing the street alone. When the eight-year-old comes home, she has to wait on the opposite side of the street at the schussler butcher store until her mother comes out of the store to fetch her.
The cramped road conditions, the unclear curves and the narrow sidewalks make crossing the road dangerous, especially for children and seniors. The problem has been discussed for years. Speed 30 in combination with a pedestrian walkway with or without traffic lights – these were the options we were talking about. But little has changed.
Equality does not exist
30 km/h on a federal highway – this is politically and legally difficult to implement, even though quite a few people in stadtsteinach had favored exactly this solution. One of them is city councillor knud espig (SPD), who very much regrets the unyielding attitude of the traffic authorities in this matter: "in such a narrow inner-city area, equal rights for cars, cyclists and pedestrians are essential! The reality is unfortunately different: the traffic has priority, the pedestrians have to watch out."
Speeding at 30 definitely won’t happen, but there will be a solution to the problem – in the form of traffic lights. This has been promised for a long time and is now being erected after a lengthy preceding procedure.
Review: a site meeting in february 2017 with traffic authorities, city council, police and burghers was followed by a traffic payment in april last year, which confirmed the need for such a traffic light in the area of the pharmacy/ambulatory care service.
No place for the waiting
In september 2017, there was another on-site meeting to explore the possibilities for implementation. The main issue was exactly where the traffic light would make sense and be feasible. The problem: in the immediate area of the pharmacy, where most people usually cross the street, there is no parking space for the waiting pedestrians. No traffic lights without a flat surface. After many discussions and negotiations, a location was found, including a site for the traffic light.
And when will the traffic light finally stop? Head of department siegfried beck from the bayreuth state building authority has good news: "after the fall vacations, a fully functional plant will be in place. We would have liked to have had this at the beginning of the school year, but unfortunately that didn’t work out."
Why did it take so long? First of all, they had to wait for the traffic regulations to be issued by the district administration office. "This is the basis for planning and tendering", so beck. The district office of kulmbach has approved the construction of the traffic light system with a decision dated 26. February 2018 ordered against the bayreuth state building authority. "In this case, however, we actually had to put the civil engineering work out to tender twice because we couldn’t find a contractor willing to carry out the contract at the first attempt." this has resulted in an additional time delay.
Now there is a suitable company, but the tram construction office has to build three traffic lights in the district of kulmbach. Currently it’s kauerndorf’s turn, followed by kupferberg, and finally stadtsteinach.
With mixed feelings
However, opinions are already divided again on the location of the traffic light, which has been fixed in the meantime: while natalie grob is happy that there is finally a bit of safety for the schoolchildren and other pedestrians, she and lena’s father bernd gunther are not happy about the positioning of the traffic light. The traffic light will be located directly at their parking lot, which will be used as an installation area if necessary. "So we lose important space for us, and on top of that we get an absolute ban on stopping in front of our store. In the future, we have to carry all the goods from the parking lot to the shop."
In addition to this extra workload, natalie grob and bernd gunther don’t like the fact that the new location is more confusing: "a zebra strip in front of the pharmacy without traffic lights would have been a better and faster solution."
Mayor roland wolfrum (SPD) doesn’t see it that way: a zebra stripe was out of the question "because that would lull the pedestrians, especially the children, into a sense of security. Experience shows that there are often more accidents than without zebra stripes." wolfrum is optimistic that the traffic lights will be designed in such a way that they are clearly visible to traffic coming from the direction of the sparkasse and that they will bring the desired increase in safety.